Vacationing Brunswick Hills firefighter saves young girl who nearly drowned

An example as to why learning CPR is important
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 3:55 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Brunswick Hills-area firefighter is being called a hero after saving a little girl’s life while he was on vacation.

“My wife told me it was about two minutes I was doing CPR. It felt like forever,” said Tim Haas, the assistant chief at Brunswick Hills Township Fire Department.

Haas was enjoying some time off in Mexico with his family. They were at the pool when all of a sudden, Haas heard a commotion.

“I noticed somebody pulling a little girl out of the water and handing her to somebody else and she was lifeless and face down. And the man he handed her to was just kind of holding her face down and shaking her, lightly shaking her,” said Haas.

At this point, Haas thought the girl was choking, but quickly realized that wasn’t the case. She had nearly drowned. He checked for a pulse. There wasn’t one. His life-saving skills kicked in and he immediately started CPR.

“It was starting to work. She was starting to respond a little bit. Her face was changing color. She appeared to be trying to cough, and then at one point, she just let out a big cough, and a lot of water came out on the first cough,” said Haas.

In Haas’ 26-year career, he said he’s performed CPR five times on a small child. This was the only time he was able to save someone. That’s why he wants people to know it’s crucial to give CPR within the first six to eight minutes of a drowning, which gives them the best chance at surviving.

“The one entertainer at the pool that was entertaining everybody had saw me that night and came up to me and told me she was doing well,” said Haas.

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